The Images of Ashala

As many of you might know, Mama, our Klamath River Whale, passed away at 4:19 a.m. this morning.  Those with her said she went very peacefully and beautifully and were by her side in a boat when she drew her last breath.

After my post last nite requesting prayers for her as she was stranded in the sand, I was amazed when I heard her  by the bridge spouting and not in front of the Klamath River RV Park where I last saw her  stranded.   According to sources there, she was freed from the sand when the tide came up  and, with a little help, was able to swim freely again.  I made my way  to an area past the bridge about 1:30 a.m. and found her swimming in the area she liked past the bridge upriver.  She swam there for a long time.  In retrospect, it was my opportunity to say my last goodbye to her.  I then made my way back to Klamath River RV Park and found she had returned there.  After listening to her and seeing spouts, I was going to post at 3 a.m. that she was back swimming and doing fine.   Thinking it was late and I would post in the morning, I went to bed.  I was shocked this morning when I awoke to see her lifeless body in the river.

Today was a very long and sad day as this beautiful being I had come to know and love has left us.  What her message was, we may never know.  Why she was here, we may never know.  There are so many things we don’t know and are not meant to know.  But what I do know is she was truly a “gentle” giant, a loving creature who charmed and mesmerized the throngs of  people, young and old, who came to watch her from atop the bridge, from the water, from the shoreline.

Mama, the gentle Klamath River Whale, we will so miss you and we thank you for gracing our lives with your presence.


Many more images of these beautiful mammals can be seen at
For purchase or use of any photos:

Ashala Tylor Photography

MG_0843 Mama, the Klamath River Whale, at 8 pm Last Night

Ashala Tylor Photography

_MG_0909 Mama, the Klamath River Whale, This Morning

Ashala Tylor Photography

_MG_0862 Mama, the Klamath River Whale, This Morning

Comments on: "RIP Mama, the Klamath River Whale. Day 54 in the River, 8-16-11" (13)

  1. This is so sad, I just read about this on Yahoo and couldnt stop crying for a minute. I wonder if maybe she commited suicide. This sounds far-out to some people but apparently dolphins do this sometimes, when caught and trapped or in aquariums. I believe that whales are social animals, but I could be wrong. But if so, maybe she was depressed by that. I dont know why this happened but Im glad that she had good people like you to watch over her in her last months… God bless you.

  2. I can’t believe you stupid , ignorant people stood by, all these weeks, chanting, playing music, taking pictures, and none of you, even the professionals, realized that she had come to Us for HELP!!!!! Even just days ago, when her fin injury was discovered, the professor rom HUmboldt State, the biologist rom NOAA, a team from Sea World, (especially after I spoke with Julie Scardina on Saturday) should have mobilized to treat the injury, take blood samples, get antibiotics into her, and get her to a safer place where she could be fed and medicated. But no one did anything but stand around with their heads up their asses and LET HER DIE!!!!!! I AM ABSOLUTELY, WITHOUT A DOUBT CONVINCED THAT THIS WAS JJ!! SHE CAME TO US BECAUSE SHE WAS INJURED, AND NEEDED OUR HELP, AND WE LET HER DOWN!! YOU SHOULD ALL BE ASHAMED OF YOURSELVES!! 2 MONTHS!! 2 MONTHS, YOU ALL WATCHED, AND NO ONE CONSIDERED THAT SHE MIGHT HAVE NEEDED HELP! HOW COULD YOU ALL HAVE SO IGNORANT AND STUPID!! i CAN ONLY HOPE SOMEONE WITH A BRAIN WILL BE INTELLIGENT ENOUGH TO TAKE BLOOD AND TISSUE SAMPLES BEFORE TOWING HER BODY TO SEA, AND GET THEM DOWN TO SEA WORLD, AND SEE THE DRASTIC MISTAKE ALL OF YOU MADE. i HOPE YOU ALL BELIEVE IN KARMA, BECAUSE YOU WILL ALL HAVE TO LIVE WITH HER DEATH. EVERY ONE OF YOU.

    Danise Freifeld,
    Certified Wildlife Veterinary Technician

    • I personally contacted Greenpeace, Peta, the Humane society of America.. and spoke to NOAA claiming that there has to be some way to help.. I even asked to paper to request help.. “resident” whales usually become so because they are sick.. I knew from the jump she was injured and sick.. but for some reason no one seemed to listen.. I am just as upset as you are Danise.. I have been pleading for them to help her…

    • Tara Miller said:

      A beautiful creature died…sad yes…but a part of nature. It’s called the circle of life. Obviously there were people, much more qualified than yourself, consulting and working on the whales behalf. I’m sure, if things were as simple as you want one to believe, things would have played out differently.

      I am thankful to the Creator for sharing this magnificent animal with us & allowing us a glimpse of it’s wonderment. I am thankful to the Yurok Nation for caring for this animal with the respect, sincerity & love all of Mother Natures creatures deserve.

  3. Hii I just learned about this story about Mama whale! Oh dear. I dont live in the states but I sure know that most ppl are sad about her death. I dont know what the frist comment meant that she needed help? But I think the river was defi not the right place for the big whale. It needed more water like real oceanic water. 😦 Poor thing. Such a great animal to be lossed just like that 😦 When we pray we need to pray in faith believing that what we have asked God to do for us concerning anything is already answered. most of us pray as if we just keep hoping but we have no faith. Anyways… we do not know how this animal thought or what it wanted humans to do for it. but hopefully next time no whale comes to the river . She will be remembered for a long time. Hugs and kisses to her memory! – Cyndi ( sri lanka)

  4. Rest in peace . I wish you could have survived. I hope your cLF LIVES AND REMEMBERS ITS MAMA.

  5. I was fortunate enough to see ‘mama’ while i was on my way to fern valley, to hike in the beginning of july. It was definatly the highlight of my trip through the redwoods before flying back to houston, tx for a visit. I had never seen such a creature in real life before, and it was all i could talk about when i got back to houston. My mom informed me yesterday of the fate of ‘mama’, she wasnt quite sure if it was the same whale i had seen weeks ago. I have some pictures n video on my phone of ‘mama’ if your website wants them. May she rest in peace.

  6. Thank you so much, Ashayla, for all that you have done to keep us informed and inspired by this wonderful creature. Thank you for your big heart, clear words, and beautiful photos! When you have rested, please take the time to write up this story in full, illustrate it with your photos, and get in published — one book for adults, and one for kids : )
    p.s. and if you would like to keep in touch with me about this, please do

  7. they do this as a message to us all I have seen this before so very sad

  8. Dear Crystal,

    Finally!! At least one logical voice of reason!! I have gotten Julie Scardina involved, and I’m sure the only reason I haven’t heard from Jack Hanna is that he’s in some far corner of the world filming, and he’ll get in touch with me when he gets home. Would you please email me directly, at I think these “professionals” who were in charge of the decision to watch JJ starve to death deserve to be punished, and maybe you and I could work directly together on this. I’ve barely slept since Tues, because I can’t seem to stop sobbing my guts out.
    Thank YOu,

  9. If you are so informed and educated Danise, then why the Hell did you not come up here to “Save the Day”. She came up this river for a reason and we need to trust her instincts. It is called the Circle of Life and you are too blinded by your “Self Important” knowledge. Everything was done that could be, if not, where were all these so called “experts” like yourself????? I too mourn her passing, but I have more faith that she knew exactly what she was doing. Go climb a tree with Miss Butterfly!

  10. Michelle: For your information, at the moment, I am just beginning my 1st semester of my bachelor’s degree in Veterinary Technology. I am also attempting to survive the loss of a 20 yr marriage to lung cancer, and sabotage. I spent my entire marriage as both our familys’ hospice caregiver, instead of establishing a career for myself, and as soon as my husband passed away, I was immediately thrown to the curb by not only his family, but my own as well! His inheritance was given to his Ex-wife, and the govt will not permit me widows benefits because of a legal age restriction. So after sacrificing my life for others for 20 years, I have been fighting to return to the workforce so I can manage to support myself alone. Unfortunately, that has been more crucially important than indulging my career dreams at the current time. Believe me, if I had been able to drop everything and rush to Ca the moment I knew about this incredible creature, I would most definitely have been there. But it is a fact that her injury was not treated, she was not airlifted out of the river to a place where she could have been fed and medicated, she was simply treated like a circus sideshow and allowed to die. I am in communication with the Biologist, and I will hopefully be using her Necropsy report for a case study in my classes, and maybe the next time, this kind of senseless death can be prevented. And by that time,, I Will be able to be there. By the way, where were you while JJ was dying, and what do you do for a living? Are you an expert on Cetaceans? SIncerely,
    Danise Freifeld, CWVT, EMT-B

  11. Thank you so much for sharing this and all the beautiful photos. Since watching “Whale Wars” I have become a true whale advocate. She died a peaceful death; her baby is safe.

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